Leather Jackets

Leather Jackets

80's Tops Jun 22, 2022

Leather jackets were a popular fashion during the 1980s, and they came in a number of different styles and designs. Whether you were into rock ‘n’ roll, hip-hop, pop, or even country music, chances were that you wanted your own leather jacket back in the 80s.

80s leather jackets
80s Fashion Trend: Leather Jackets

Leather jackets were also made famous by some of the most epic blockbuster movies of the decade. Iconic characters in movies like “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” (1981) and “Top Gun” (1986) helped popularize leather jackets and bring them to a mainstream audience.

Leather Jackets In The 80s

Though leather jackets were a popular 1980s fashion trend, the first leather jackets that were manufactured for the sole purpose of being a fashionable accessory date all the way back to 1928. It was during the end of the 1920s that Irvin Schott created a leather jacket that had been designed especially for motorcycle riders.

perfecto leather jacket
The Schott “Perfecto Jacket” Was One Of The Earliest Leather Jackets Made

While other jackets at the time featured button closures, Schott instead used a zipper for the very first time. The jacket itself was named “The Perfecto”, which also happened to be the name of his favorite cigars. It was a very fashionable and highly sought-after jacket that inspired many others to develop similar style jackets for street use.

Triple Fat Goose And Hip Hop

By the 1980s, the popularity of leather jackets had exploded. There were a number of different prominent designs and styles to choose from, with one of the more popular options for the hip-hop culture being the Triple F.A.T. Goose leather jacket.

run dmc triple fat goose
Run D.M.C. Often Wore Leather Triple F.A.T. Goose Jackets In The 80s

These extra puffy leather jackets were filled with goose-down feathers making them an excellent choice for keeping warm. But those who chose to purchase the triple fat goose jackets weren’t wearing them for warmth, because they were all about style.

Leather And Rock ‘n Roll

At the other end of the musical spectrum was rock ‘n’ roll. During the 70s and 80s, rock ‘n’ roll flourished, and one of the most popular outfits for any rocker was a studded leather jacket.

guns n roses leather jackets
Rock Bands Like Guns N Roses Often Wore Leather Jackets In The 80s
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It was one of the first times that the traditional leather jacket transcended the gender gap. Both men and women who were into rock ‘n’ roll, wore studded leather jackets throughout the 80s.

Women In Leather Jackets

It was popular musicians such as Joan Jett and Blondie who inspired women to pick up their first leather jackets. Joan Jett with famous hits like I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll was one of the most popular female rock ‘n’ roll artists of the 1980s, so as a result, she was also a fashion trendsetter.

joan jett 80s leather jacket
Joan Jett Sporting A Leather Jacket In The 1980s

Many women who were fans of Jett followed suit and picked up their own black leather jackets. They then took the time to customize every single inch by adding a variety of pins, studs, and buttons.

Indiana Jones

One of the most popular films of the early 1980s was the movie “Raiders Of The Lost Ark”. This film was set back in the 1930s, and throughout the film, the main character “Indiana Jones” (played by Harrison Ford) wore a brown leather jacket.

raiders of the lost ark leather jacket
Harrison Ford Wore A Leather Jacket Throughout “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” (1981)

It’s interesting to note there were many changes to the jacket for the film to make it easier for Harrison Ford to act. The jacket featured side pleats which allowed better movement, and the cuffs had been removed altogether to assure a greater range of motion.

As a result of the film, many boys and men of the era wanted their own leather jackets so they could be just like Dr. Jones.

Top Gun

Another one of the biggest movies of the 1980s was “Top Gun” (1986). In the movie, Tom Cruise and his co-stars can be seen wearing a variety of leather jackets including the very popular Bomber Jacket that was such a popular 1980s fashion trend.

Top Gun Leather Jackets
“Top Gun” (1986) Popularized The Leather Bomber Jacket In The 1980s

Seeing your favorite movie star on the big screen save the day in a leather jacket only made you want to have one even more, and blockbuster movies in the 1980s as well as music videos on MTV helped create many of the 1980s fashion trends.

Are Leather Jackets Still Popular?

Leather jackets are one of those fashion trends that always seem to be in style. Though they were particularly popular in the 1980s, they still remain very popular today.

Leather jackets have been around for decades now, and we expect them to be around for many decades to come. Their timeless look, along with their comfort and feel, make them a fashion trend with staying power.

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